In the News

Lexington Teacher Surprised with Teacher of the Year Award for Bringing Agriculture into the Classroom

LEXINGTON, NE – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation surprised Sandoz Elementary School teacher Ivette Kinney with the 2024 Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year award at a school assembly on Feb. 5.  The award is given to outstanding teachers that incorporate agriculture into their classroom through innovative ideas and lessons.

“Ivette Kinney’s active participation and enthusiastic spirit make her a great fit to be awarded the 2024 Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year. Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is so excited to honor Ivette Kinney,” said Courtney Shreve, senior director of outreach education.

Kinney, a second-grade teacher at Sandoz Elementary, incorporates agriculture in her classroom through a key Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation program, Classroom Visits. As a first-time participant, she signed herself up for classroom visits, and then recruited her entire second-grade team to participate. Every second-grade student, in eight classrooms at Sandoz Elementary, participated in a Classroom Visit this past year and learned about agriculture.

“Incorporating Agriculture in the Classroom has been helpful in teaching students the connection between the farm and their table.  Many of my students come from diverse backgrounds and many may not even have the background knowledge to know where their food or supplies come from,” said Kinney.

Kinney attended the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation conference, Making the Connection, in June 2023 and picked up new resources to enhance her summer school program.  “During Summer School, agriculture gave students an enrichment in fourth and fifth grade to learn more about the background of how energy plays a role in our lives. We used hands-on activities to really engage their learning.  I have learned a great deal myself as I am not from a farming background,” said Kinney.

Kinney will receive an expense-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, an accurate agriculture book bundle, and a $250 Amazon gift card. The conference held June 24-27, 2024, in Salt Lake City, Utah, brings educators together from all over the United States to learn how to use agricultural concepts to effectively teach core subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies. The conference features recognition for Teacher of the Year honorees, educational workshops, traveling workshops to agribusinesses and research facilities, and farm tours.

The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit

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